Perhaps you’ve already heard about Dave, a smart budgeting and cash advance app that closely monitors your spending and alerts you when you’re about to go overdrawn. It sounds awesome on the surface of it, but is Dave safe to use? Find out in this article below.
The app works by accessing your checking account, where its technology begins to learn the patterns of your spending so that it can recognize regular payments, for example, Netflix subscriptions, or your monthly phone bill.
Dave can predict how low your bank balance is likely to drop over a 7-day period, alerting you if you’re about to run out of cash.
The real beauty of the Dave app is that it can spot you an advance of up to $75 from your next paycheck (interest-free) if it looks like you’re about to overdraft. This way, you can hopefully avoid overdraft fees!
Dave has a subscription fee of just $1 per month, so when you consider that an overdraft fee could cost around $35, even if the app only helps you out every once in a while, investing in Dave could be well worth it.
Dave does ask for tips for every cash advance you request. Tipping is optional but encouraged. The app prompts you to leave an 8%, 10% or 12% tip, but you can enter a custom amount, and you can set a default tip so that you don’t have to update the tipping section each time.
After all, the app works by accessing your checking account, so it’s a pretty good question. You might be wondering whether Dave will take more of an advance from you than stated, or how Dave keeps your personal information, including your social security number, safe and secure. Read on for the answers to these important considerations!
How Dave handles data security and privacy
Dave uses some high-level security practices to keep your data safe. The access to your checking account is read-only, and any sensitive details such as your password and social security number are encrypted. The app uses 2048-bit encryption for data transmission from your account to Dave’s secure servers, which are monitored 24/7.
Although Dave needs your banking credentials to provide its service, it only uses them once to verify your account, and they are not stored anywhere. Dave also uses firewalls and other security features to protect your account.
Is your money safe with Dave?
When you take into consideration the security features Dave has in place for users, it’s reasonable to say that yes, overall your money is safe and this app isn’t a scam.
According to the reviews on Google Play, the app scores (4 / 5), which is positive. Many users seem to love Dave and say that it has helped them manage their finances a little better.
However, there are a few negative reviews about Dave that are related to taking funds from accounts when users weren’t expecting this to happen.
For example, one reviewer on Google Play stated that Dave is capable of taking the $1 subscription fee out of your account even if you delete the app. A customer service rep responded to say that merely removing the app won’t terminate the subscription – users have to cancel their subscription within the app settings – see how here.
Another user said that she hadn’t used Dave yet for a cash advance, but she was down to her last $1 when the monthly subscription fee was deducted, leaving her in overdraft! Regarding this same issue, someone else wasn’t aware that the $1 subscription fee gets taken even if you don’t take out an advance.
It seems that Dave does occasionally make charging errors. A reviewer said she received one advance and paid it back on payday, but afterwards, Dave took $79.99 out of her account without consent. An agent for Dave responded to say that any mistaken charges will be reimbursed immediately. So, issues like this are apparently rectified quickly but may be slightly worrying for some people.
Another thing that may have an impact on your bank balance is Dave’s voluntary “tipping” option. If you decide to get a cash advance of $50 twice per month for a year, and you tipped 10% each time, that’s $120 in tips! A sweetener here though is that for each percentage tipped, Dave donates to plant a tree, so you can take heart that some good will be done with the cash.
After research, it seems that Dave has robust security measures in place to keep user data safe and secure. Like all technology, there may be errors from time to time, so it’s a good idea to keep a close watch on your bank balance in case you get charged incorrectly for an advance. Also, keep track of the tips you send to Dave, even if you’ve specified a default amount, as these may add up over time.
*The information detailed above is correct at the time of publishing.